Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Aftermath

There is just no getting around it. I'm tired, and my poor kids are tired. I'm betting most of this is from the frenetic pace I have unwittingly set for our after school activities, but I think for me and Sophia in particular - there is quite a bit of "let down" following our last 10 months.

I know I wasn't the one getting the chemo and radiation, but I didn't realize the weight of the stress I was carrying. And now that it is off, it is more than a little challenging to go back to "regular" life. It is very emotional and it takes very little to set me off. Friday before last, I cried on and off for 2 hours while doing housework. Dave could not understand that I was not, in fact, crying about cleaning the toilets (although that is a worthy reason for me to bawl). It just sneaks up on me and has to come out. I just never know what form it will take.

For instance, on Wednesday of this last week, I wanted to slap the hair off the heads of 2 adorable little girls at swim lessons because they were standing right in front of Sophia staring at her. (She was blissfully digging through her lunchbox so she paid them no mind.) I realize they'd probably never seen a child without hair but it made the Mama Bear in me come out at the thought of Sophia being upset by it. Then I wanted to yell at their mother, who obviously had not taught them manners - you know, the whole "don't stare" thing?

The girls apparently read my aggressive mind as the older one caught my eye (and I was wearing my sunglasses) and grabbed her sister's arm to hurry away.

I feel bad about that. I do. They are just kids for Heaven's sake!

But they were staring at my kid and it just reminded me how different everything is now.

I'm trying to work through my emotions. I've changed to some healthier eating habits and have got a lot of writing projects on the table. I'm keeping busy, whether as a way to cope or just to catch up from the last 10 months - I'm not sure yet.

There is a lot of good. We have great family time. My kids love school. We were on T.V and all the kids at their school have seen the clip so they treat me like a rock star. Our life is getting back to a regular, firm routine. I sleep really, really well.

And of course, Sophia doesn't have cancer anymore.

As proof that I'm not going to turn into a child-whipping lunatic when someone looks cross-eyed at Sophia, I'll share the best conversation I've been in these long 10 months. It happened with a little boy who lives down the street. I went to have lunch with this girls at school this last Friday and he approached me while I was waiting on Natalie. Here is how it went down.

(Little boy we shall call "A" approaches)

A: So I hear Sophia has a concert.

Me: A Concert?

A: Yes, in her eye.

Me: Oh, you mean cancer?

A: Yah, cancer.

Me: Well, she took medicine and it made it go away. That's why she lost her hair, from the medicine, but she doesn't have cancer anymore.

A: No, I saw it on TV, she has cancer.

Me: No, it's ok. It's gone.

(A stares at me for a long moment. I can see the PB&J stains on his mouth and his large, round, brown eyes. He then turns around to his table, obviously not wishing to argue further because I'm apparently mistaken. He saw it on T.V. after all.)

Adults usually want to know all the details. Kids just want to know if they or Sophia will be ok. I do my best to assure them and love it when the little girls run up to hug me, or say hi to Sophia in the hall (even if she is mortified by all the attention.) They want to know and be involved. It is their way of showing us they care - in only the way children can.

No wonder Jesus wants us to be like them.

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